Italy’s deadly floods leave thousands homeless, 13 dead

May 18, 2023
1 min read
Thousands including elderly have been evacuated from their homes. Image: twitter/Francesca Tacchi

Heavy flooding and mudslides in Italy have forced thousands of people to flee their homes and killed 13 people

More than 20 rivers have burst their banks across the region, resulting in 280 landslides, according to local officials. Thousands of people have been left without electricity, according to Enel – the Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas.

Shell-shocked residents have to be evacuated from their houses in Emilia-Romagna, a famous tourist destination, and this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in Imola has been canceled after devastating floods converted streets into fast-moving streams. Distressed families, including children and the elderly, were forced to scramble onto their rooftops in the tourist attraction as they waited for helicopter rescuers to arrive.

The Italian Department of Civil Protection stated in a tweet that 600 firemen from around Italy had been sent to assist with evacuations in the region after Italy’s longest river, the Po, burst its banks. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government has called a crisis meeting next Tuesday. Italian Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci has also called for a new countrywide hydraulic engineering plan to adapt to the impact of increasing incidents of floods and landslides.

Rainstorms raged for days throughout northern Italy and the Balkans, causing “apocalyptic” floods, landslides, and evacuations in Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia, the associated press reported.

The swelling Una river in the Balkans inundated sections of northern Croatia and northeastern Bosnia, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency. Several landslides have been recorded in eastern Slovenia, with several endangering houses and infrastructure. Hundreds of military and rescue teams in Croatia continued to carry food and other needs to flood-affected residents who were trapped in their houses. No casualties have been reported so far.

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